Living in Tasmania (the little island off the bottom of mainland Australia) we don't often have the opportunity to do classes with international quilting superstars. So I'm a wee bit excited about what I got to do today! Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably have been working all around Australia for the last few months, and today they taught in Hobart and I was lucky enough to get a spot in their class.
This really was a colour class - no sewing machines, just cutting fabric and playing with it on a design wall. I learnt an incredible amount today, so I thought I'd write this blog post while it's all fresh in my mind. I went into this class with a substantial pile of fabric, but no real idea what I'd use or what kind of quilt I'd end up with. I figure if you're going to do a class with someone like Kaffe and Brandon, you need to go into it with an open mind and let them guide you in fabric and colour choices.
I decided straight up to work with colours I normally wouldn't - and although I did take a wider range of warm colours with me, I ended up gravitating to the dusky pinks, browns and a few pink/reds I'd taken with me. One thing that was a real challenge for me was trying to stay to medium value prints, which was a key thing Kaffe suggested when choosing fabric for this quilt. A range of values (dark, medium and light) normally plays a huge role in my fabric selections, and although there are a few lighter or darker fabrics in this, they are predominantly medium vale.
We started by just cutting and placing the hexagons up on our design walls, and then toward the middle of the day we chose a colour for the star points. I was very open to suggestion here - Kaffe asked me what I was thinking, and when I said aqua he suggested my dress colour (a dark teal) would be the perfect choice. You tend to listen to this kind of advice, so I chose a few deep teal/blues and got cutting. Even after the first star points had gone up, I knew it was the right way to go - even though they're still medium value prints the hexagons really pop next to the blues.
My lovely friend Cath got a photo of me and Kaffe while he was talking about my quilt - Brandon and Kaffe both really, really loved it despite the fact I was the only person taking the workshop who didn't use their fabrics ;o).
I'm totally exhausted, but really inspired after today. If you ever have the opportunity to do a class with Kaffe and Brandon, I highly recommend it, it's an incredible experience. I'd definitely like to work like this a lot more - just cutting fabric and putting it on my design wall and playing. It's a great way to learn about colour and balance. I really want to finish this quilt soon - so once I knock over a few quilty priorities this week, I'm hoping to get back to this quilt and keep playing!